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L-13’s Kelley bags Russian bear

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L-13’s Rich Kelley (l.) with his Russian hunting guide and brown bear.

WITH ONLY ONE shell left, Rich Kelley climbed 500 yards up the side of a mountain on his hands and knees, looking for the bear he hoped had fallen from his earlier shots. He was lucky. The animal was down, and he had his first Russian bear kill.

Kelley, a member of Philadelphia Local 13, is an avid sportsman. He took a dream trip to Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula in May to hunt brown bear. Hiking along the Plotnikov River, it wasn’t until his third day that he found a bear that he could shoot, but he missed. A few hours later, he spotted another bear at 470 yards. His first three shots missed. He knew his fourth shot hit, but the bear took off running. He kept shooting and missing. With only three shells left, he reloaded his gun and had a misfire. Once again he loaded up, one sole shell left in his pocket, and fired. Again he hit the bear, but the bear kept running. After crawling some 500 yards up the snow-covered mountain, he spotted the fallen bear about 20 yards down the other side.

His advice for those who are planning a big hunt like this: “Don’t leave any shells at the main camp when you are going to a drop camp overnight; make sure you bring them all with you!”

Published on the Web: June 4, 2010

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